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uncle ebeneezer
04-22-2011, 04:23 PM
If DS's wet-dream of secession ever happens, how will our noble Republic ever compete with Texas' brilliant agriculture policy?? (http://governor.state.tx.us/news/proclamation/16038/)

h/t Brendan, PZ Myers and many others

rfrobison
04-22-2011, 08:53 PM
C'mon, Eb,

You can do better than that, can't you? I remember a few (more like 20) years back the Colorado state legislature took time out to pass a resolution declaring the stegosaurus the Official State Fossil. Lawmakers do this kinda stuff all the time. It's more than a bit of stretch to criticize a call for prayer as if it were the sum total of a state "agriculture policy."

Here's a resolution just for you:

WHEREAS Uncle Eb believes God does not exist and;

WHEREAS Uncle Eb believes praying to a nonexistent God an utter waste of time and;

NOTING that he feels left out of the Texas State Legislature's resolution calling for people to Pray for Rain;

RESOLVED THEREFORE THAT Uncle Eb and all like-minded nonbelievers are hereby exempt from the provisions of said resolution.

SIGNED rfrobison Governor Of Nothing In Particular,

This 24th Day of April, The Year of Our Lord, two thousand eleven.

**********************************************

There, feel better?

Ocean
04-22-2011, 09:25 PM
You don't think that there's something sort of wrong or at least laughable about that resolution?

I mean, really.

rfrobison
04-22-2011, 09:34 PM
No, I really don't. I think it's harmless and an expression of sympathy for people who are experiencing real hardship.

If people think praying is silly or stupid or inefficacious or whatever, that's fine. But considering all the other meaningless stuff that governments find time (and money) to do, I'd say this is a pretty minor thing to get one's knickers in a bunch over.

Ocean
04-22-2011, 09:47 PM
No, I really don't. I think it's harmless and an expression of sympathy for people who are experiencing real hardship.

If people think praying is silly or stupid or inefficacious or whatever, that's fine. But considering all the other meaningless stuff that governments find time (and money) to do, I'd say this is a pretty minor thing to get one's knickers in a bunch over.

I think you got your knickers in a bunch (whatever that means) reacting to a brief, mostly humorous, comment and link from uncle eb.

rfrobison
04-22-2011, 10:01 PM
I think you got your knickers in a bunch (whatever that means) reacting to a brief, mostly humorous, comment and link from uncle eb.

Ehh, maybe. But this example of "Lookit these idiot believers!" Sort of reinforces my view that a certain species of "liberal" simply can't resist the urge to parade his or her alleged intellectual superiority over his or her political opponents.

Don't get me wrong. I like Eb and you and Brendan and everybody here (almost). But at the very least, I'd say its a turnoff. If your side wants to win politically, you'd probably want to go a little easier on the mockery of people's faith. But that's just a bit of friendly advice. Feel free to ignore it.

uncle ebeneezer
04-22-2011, 10:05 PM
Ocean is right. I'm mainly just chuckling a Texas politician playing to type.

As far as serious concerns go, however, I do find it distressing that the Republican Party refuses to pay heed to the advice of climate scientists and refuse to implement policies based on their recommendations, yet will take the time to go on record as praying for rain (a causal belief that we would laugh at if we found an amazon tribe practicing it.) If the Governor was asking to pray for the people effected and not to pray for rain it would be a little less laughable. But come on Rob, it's like he put it up on a tee for mockery. Surely even you can see that.

My atheist side does bristle at any elected official calling for "prayer" but my knickers are hardly in a knot over it as I realize that my views on that end are minority. That said the only tool I have is mockery, so I don't mind hitting said ball off said tee when religious people leave it so perfectly perched.

Ocean
04-22-2011, 10:16 PM
Ehh, maybe. But this example of "Lookit these idiot believers!" Sort of reinforces my view that a certain species of "liberal" simply can't resist the urge to parade his or her alleged intellectual superiority over his or her political opponents.

Don't get me wrong. I like Eb and you and Brendan and everybody here (almost). But at the very least, I'd say its a turnoff. If your side wants to win politically, you'd probably want to go a little easier on the mockery of people's faith. But that's just a bit of friendly advice. Feel free to ignore it.

I don't tend to represent "my side" but rather my opinion of various topics. I'm respectful of religion, when I find respectable aspects of it. A prayer for rain starts to fall in an area of primitive superstition that isn't too respectable. I can understand praying for consolation but the implication of having an official mandate for prayer to induce rain, is beyond that.

Perhaps if your side wants to be credible, such expressions of primitivism should be avoided. I'm hoping that religions can find a more mature form of expression if they want to survive another generation.

Finally, you may not realize it but for people who don't believe in this kind of practice, it's really discouraging to see this form of response. It's very regressive. I'm sorry if it's offensive to your religious sensibilities. I'd rather be honest.

operative
04-22-2011, 10:16 PM
Ocean is right. I'm mainly just chuckling a Texas politician playing to type.

As far as serious concerns go, however, I do find it distressing that the Republican Party refuses to pay heed to the advice of climate scientists and refuse to implement policies based on their recommendations, yet will take the time to go on record as praying for rain (a causal belief that we would laugh at if we found an amazon tribe practicing it.) If the Governor was asking to pray for the people effected and not to pray for rain it would be a little less laughable. But come on Rob, it's like he put it up on a tee for mockery. Surely even you can see that.

My atheist side does bristle at any elected official calling for "prayer" but my knickers are hardly in a knot over it as I realize that my views on that end are minority. That said the only tool I have is mockery, so I don't mind hitting said ball off said tee when religious people leave it so perfectly perched.

There's a pretty broad range of opinion as to what would be good policy re: climate change. In fact, as is outlined in Superfreakonomics, there's a good argument for doing nothing until our technology evolves to better address the issue.

rfrobison
04-22-2011, 10:20 PM
Ocean is right. I'm mainly just chuckling a Texas politician playing to type.

As far as serious concerns go, however, I do find it distressing that the Republican Party refuses to pay heed to the advice of climate scientists and refuse to implement policies based on their recommendations, yet will take the time to go on record as praying for rain (a causal belief that we would laugh at if we found an amazon tribe practicing it.) If the Governor was asking to pray for the people effected and not to pray for rain it would be a little less laughable. But come on Rob, it's like he put it up on a tee for mockery. Surely even you can see that.

My atheist side does bristle at any elected official calling for "prayer" but my knickers are hardly in a knot over it as I realize that my views on that end are minority. That said the only tool I have is mockery, so I don't mind hitting said ball off said tee when religious people leave it so perfectly perched.

Well, you're certainly free to mock away. I've been known to do that a bit myself. As to the rest, I personally dislike the sort of "civic deism" that politicians feel compelled to genuflect at, precisely because I believe that not all beliefs about God are equally correct (or incorrect).

But the U.S. is an unusually religious country for one so materially well off. If there were votes to be had or political support to be gained from tattooing one's forehead with a pentagram and calling on Lucifer for rain, I'm sure you'd see politicians falling all over themselves to do it.

Not that that would be wise.

rfrobison
04-22-2011, 10:26 PM
Perhaps if your side wants to be credible, such expressions of primitivism should be avoided. I'm hoping that religions can find a more mature form of expression if they want to survive another generation.

Finally, you may not realize it but for people who don't believe in this kind of practice, it's really discouraging to see this form of response. It's very regressive. I'm sorry if it's offensive to your religious sensibilities. I'd rather be honest.

Thanks for your honesty. Honest! I'll let C.S. Lewis answer for me.

"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive."

uncle ebeneezer
04-22-2011, 10:33 PM
Rob, to be clear, drought is a serious issue. I would like our politicians to address it with serious ideas. Public investment in more effective irrigation systems would be the first that comes to my mind but I'm sure there are others that could be gleaned from the scientists and engineers who specialize in these sorts of things. Whether you agree with it or not, droughts of greater severity and higher frequency are one of the results that climate scientists models predict. But Republicans are so wrapped in AGW-denialism and starve-the-beast fervor that, god forbid (pun intended) they actually consider such ideas to try to address the problem. In that light, I find their preference for empty, supernatural platitudes (to admittedly garner votes) to be kinda sad for the people who are really suffering with the realities of the natural world.

If politicians suggested pentagram tattoos i would mock them for being equally disconnected from rationality.

Ocean
04-22-2011, 10:47 PM
Thanks for your honesty. Honest! I'll let C.S. Lewis answer for me.

"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive."

Nice quote. Perhaps it's all about figuring out when walking back will lead to the better path, or back into barbarism.

Praying for rain? Nah. No right path there.

rfrobison
04-22-2011, 11:29 PM
Rob, to be clear, drought is a serious issue. I would like our politicians to address it with serious ideas. Public investment in more effective irrigation systems would be the first that comes to my mind but I'm sure there are others that could be gleaned from the scientists and engineers who specialize in these sorts of things. Whether you agree with it or not, droughts of greater severity and higher frequency are one of the results that climate scientists models predict. But Republicans are so wrapped in AGW-denialism and starve-the-beast fervor that, god forbid (pun intended) they actually consider such ideas to try to address the problem. In that light, I find their preference for empty, supernatural platitudes (to admittedly garner votes) to be kinda sad for the people who are really suffering with the realities of the natural world.

You'll get no argument from me on the need for science-based solutions for practical problems such as drought and/or climate change. I am sort of agnostic (pun intended) on the question of what the implications of a changing climate are, but I suspect they would mostly be bad. Whether it represents the single greatest threat to mankind ever, as some of the advocates of radically restructuring our economy seem to believe, is another question. There is a whole host of threats to human survival out there, of which climate change is only one. I also am pretty optimistic about human ingenuity and adaptability.

For what it's worth, I am in favor of a carbon tax because, if nothing else, it would help to make the economy more energy efficient and also make the cost of tackling climate change transparent. As it stands, our preferred mode of action appears to be to bury everyone in reams of red tape -- maybe we could block out the sun with it?-- and then carve out a bunch of exemptions for preferred interest groups. Likely result? Very little in the way of solving the problem and a costly exercise in bureaucracy and sloshing money from one part of the economy to another ineffectually.

Chance of a carbon tax passing Congress in the next eon: zero. Chance of climate change wrecking the earth: Dunno, 33.3387% maybe?

In the meantime, guess I'll pray for rain. It couldn't hurt, right? I remember reading something once about a witch doctor who killed his enemies with Voodoo (and a little arsenic)...

bjkeefe
04-23-2011, 08:51 AM
Ehh, maybe. But this example of "Lookit these idiot believers!" Sort of reinforces my view that a certain species of "liberal" simply can't resist the urge to parade his or her alleged intellectual superiority over his or her political opponents.

Ah, now the core reason for rfr's objection becomes plain: hurt feelings brought about by imagined slights due to over-sensitivity.

I don't know about anybody else, but the reason I noted Rick Perry's act (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2011/04/looming-theocracy-watch.html) was not to make fun of him or you for your superstitions, but because we're supposed to have a separation of church and state in this country. What he did places an official government seal of approval on a religious practice. This is fundamentally wrong and in violation of the spirit of the First Amendment.

I'll also take exception with earlier comments of yours:

I think it's harmless and an expression of sympathy for people ... I'd say this is a pretty minor thing to get one's knickers in a bunch over.

I don't think it's an expression of sympathy. It's a cop-out. It's a shirking of responsibility. It's yet another statement of the Republican Party's mantra that the government cannot do anything to help and will not even try, and an implied message to the susceptible that if you're in trouble because of the drought, it's your fault for not praying hard enough, so STFU and don't come crawling to your governor for any assistance.

And it's not harmless. Particularly in that state, it's of a piece with the never-ending Christianist drive (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2010/01/somewhere-in-texas-theres-village-thats.html) to fill schoolkids' heads with superstitious crap.

So, no. I don't think it's a minor thing. Not by a long shot.

rfrobison
04-23-2011, 09:04 AM
Ah, now the core reason for rfr's objection becomes plain: hurt feelings brought about by imagined slights due to over-sensitivity.

I don't know about anybody else, but the reason I noted Rick Perry's act (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2011/04/looming-theocracy-watch.html) was not to make fun of him or you for your superstitions, but because we're supposed to have a separation of church and state in this country. What he did places an official government seal of approval on a religious practice. This is fundamentally wrong and in violation of the spirit of the First Amendment.

I'll also take exception with earlier comments of yours:



I don't think it's an expression of sympathy. It's a cop-out. It's a shirking of responsibility. It's yet another statement of the Republican Party's mantra that the government cannot do anything to help and will not even try, and an implied message to the susceptible that if you're in trouble because of the drought, it's your fault for not praying hard enough, so STFU and don't come crawling to your governor for any assistance.

And it's not harmless. Particularly in that state, it's of a piece with the never-ending Christianist drive (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2010/01/somewhere-in-texas-theres-village-thats.html) to fill schoolkids' heads with superstitious crap.

So, no. I don't think it's a minor thing. Not by a long shot.

Bully for you. So next time Obama says: "God bless America," or some such I'll look forward to you putting up a whole thread about him playing to "Christianist" sentiment or whatever. Until then, I suppose this will be just one of those "let's not waste our time trying to persuade each other 'cause our positions are set in concrete"-type thingies.

Ciao for now.

rfrobison
04-23-2011, 09:08 AM
It's yet another statement of the Republican Party's mantra that the government cannot do anything to help and will not even try, and an implied message to the susceptible that if you're in trouble because of the drought, it's your fault for not praying hard enough, so STFU and don't come crawling to your governor for any assistance.


Where's your evidence for this? Can you not see how way over the top this is BJ? If not, I'd say it's a matter of simple prejudice.

bjkeefe
04-23-2011, 09:16 AM
Bully for you. So next time Obama says: "God bless America," or some such I'll look forward to you putting up a whole thread about him playing to "Christianist" sentiment or whatever.

Don't hold your breath. I pick my battles, and de facto required tropes from politicians is not one I bother with. I don't like that Obama does this, and in fact, I think I applauded him for not ending some major speech early in his presidency with this standard phrase, but there are other places where the Christianist violation of our nation's core principles is more overt, and therefore, where my energy is better spent. Perry's proclamation is one of those.

Until then, I suppose this will be just one of those "let's not waste our time trying to persuade each other 'cause our positions are set in concrete"-type thingies.

This lacks credibility, given that you have at this point put up eight of the sixteen responses in this thread.

bjkeefe
04-23-2011, 09:21 AM
Where's your evidence for this?

It's my reading of the subtext. Accept it or don't.

Can you not see how way over the top this is BJ?

Can you not see how way over the top it was for an elected official in the United States of America to put out a legal document endorsing a religious practice?

Ocean
04-23-2011, 09:37 AM
I don't know about anybody else, but the reason I noted Rick Perry's act (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2011/04/looming-theocracy-watch.html) was not to make fun of him or you for your superstitions, but because we're supposed to have a separation of church and state in this country. What he did places an official government seal of approval on a religious practice. This is fundamentally wrong and in violation of the spirit of the First Amendment.

I agree with that too. I don't know why I didn't mention the separation of church and state last night, because it was the first thought that came to my mind when I was reading the document. I was probably sleepy.

The steady pace in which religion (Christianity types mostly) is creeping into government is alarming. The initiative to teach creationism in schools, going against legal abortion and gay marriage by invoking religious beliefs or texts, trying to sneak official documents calling for prayer are all assaults on some of the most basic principles of separation of church and state.

At some point political officials will have to decide whether they will remain loyal to the Constitution or they will place their interpretation of the Bible above all else.

bjkeefe
04-23-2011, 10:01 AM
There's a pretty broad range of opinion as to what would be good policy re: climate change. In fact, as is outlined in Superfreakonomics, there's a good argument for doing nothing until our technology evolves to better address the issue.

It all depends on what your definition of "good argument" is, doesn't it?

I'm surprised anyone is still holding up this thoroughly debunked source as credible. However, for those who may have recently arrived from Neptune or something, here is a sampling of critiques, many of which contain links to additional analyses:

• The Shoddy Statistics of Super Freakonomics (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/10/the_shoddy_statistics_of_super.html)

• An open letter to Steve Levitt (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/an-open-letter-to-steve-levitt/)

• Superfreakonomics: How did they get climate change so wrong? (http://scienceblogs.com/islandofdoubt/2009/10/superfreakonomics_how_did_they.php)

• New Book "SuperFreakonomics" Mischaracterizes Climate Science (http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/global_warming_contrarians/book-superfreakonomics.html)

• Error-riddled ‘Superfreakonomics’: New book pushes global cooling myths, sheer illogic, and “patent nonsense” ... (http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/12/superfreakonomics-errors-levitt-caldeira-myhrvold/) (via A counterintuitive train wreck (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/16/a-counterintuitive-train-wreck/))

• Error-riddled ‘Superfreakonomics’, Part 2: ... (http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/14/superfreakonomics-errors-nathan-myhrvold-intellectual-ventures-bill-gates-warren-buffet/)

• SuperFreakonomics’ Climate Contrarianism: Do Trees and Solar Panels Warm the Earth? (http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2009/11/superfreakonomics-climate-contrarianism/)

• Hosed: Is there a quick fix for the climate? (http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2009/11/16/091116crbo_books_kolbert)

• Why Levitt and Dubner like geo-engineering and why they are wrong (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/why-levitt-and-dubner-like-geo-engineering-and-why-they-are-wrong/)

• How SuperFreakonomics Gets Climate Engineering Wrong (http://technologyreview.com/blog/energy/24274/)

• Does "Superfreakonomics" Need A Do-Over? (http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-vine/superfreakonomics-needs-redo)

• More SuperFreakonomics climate change denial? (http://www.grist.org/article/more-superfreakonomics-climate-change-denial)

• What Does SuperFreakonomics Have in Common with Old Tobacco Ads? (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainstorm/200910/what-does-superfreakonomics-have-in-common-old-tobacco-ads)

• When Books Collide: Sloppy 'Superfreakonomics' Meets its Match in Lucid 'Climate for Change' (http://blogs.edf.org/climate411/2009/10/21/when-books-collide-sloppy-superfreakonomics-meets-its-match-in-lucid-climate-for-change/)

• *Sigh* Last Post on Superfreakonomics, I Promise (http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2009/10/sigh-last-post-on-superfreakonomics-i-promise.html)

Ocean
04-23-2011, 10:13 AM
Oh, but, operative's statement wasn't meant to be factual, you know? It's like his assertions about Obama's IQ or merits. Or about the wonders of free markets. Or how LDS church isn't racist or discriminatory. Or how the best way to help the poor is to increase income for the rich. Those are "statements of gut"* not meant to be factual.

*the place where a certain kind of conservatives keep their brain.

operative
04-23-2011, 11:15 AM
It all depends on what your definition of "good argument" is, doesn't it?

I'm surprised anyone is still holding up this thoroughly debunked source as credible. However, for those who may have recently arrived from Neptune or something, here is a sampling of critiques, many of which contain links to additional analyses:

• The Shoddy Statistics of Super Freakonomics (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/10/the_shoddy_statistics_of_super.html)

• An open letter to Steve Levitt (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/an-open-letter-to-steve-levitt/)

• Superfreakonomics: How did they get climate change so wrong? (http://scienceblogs.com/islandofdoubt/2009/10/superfreakonomics_how_did_they.php)

• New Book "SuperFreakonomics" Mischaracterizes Climate Science (http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/global_warming_contrarians/book-superfreakonomics.html)

• Error-riddled ‘Superfreakonomics’: New book pushes global cooling myths, sheer illogic, and “patent nonsense” ... (http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/12/superfreakonomics-errors-levitt-caldeira-myhrvold/) (via A counterintuitive train wreck (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/16/a-counterintuitive-train-wreck/))

• Error-riddled ‘Superfreakonomics’, Part 2: ... (http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/14/superfreakonomics-errors-nathan-myhrvold-intellectual-ventures-bill-gates-warren-buffet/)

• SuperFreakonomics’ Climate Contrarianism: Do Trees and Solar Panels Warm the Earth? (http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2009/11/superfreakonomics-climate-contrarianism/)

• Hosed: Is there a quick fix for the climate? (http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2009/11/16/091116crbo_books_kolbert)

• Why Levitt and Dubner like geo-engineering and why they are wrong (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/why-levitt-and-dubner-like-geo-engineering-and-why-they-are-wrong/)

• How SuperFreakonomics Gets Climate Engineering Wrong (http://technologyreview.com/blog/energy/24274/)

• Does "Superfreakonomics" Need A Do-Over? (http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-vine/superfreakonomics-needs-redo)

• More SuperFreakonomics climate change denial? (http://www.grist.org/article/more-superfreakonomics-climate-change-denial)

• What Does SuperFreakonomics Have in Common with Old Tobacco Ads? (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainstorm/200910/what-does-superfreakonomics-have-in-common-old-tobacco-ads)

• When Books Collide: Sloppy 'Superfreakonomics' Meets its Match in Lucid 'Climate for Change' (http://blogs.edf.org/climate411/2009/10/21/when-books-collide-sloppy-superfreakonomics-meets-its-match-in-lucid-climate-for-change/)

• *Sigh* Last Post on Superfreakonomics, I Promise (http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2009/10/sigh-last-post-on-superfreakonomics-i-promise.html)

Ah, a bunch of left-wing bloggers react. Out of curiosity, do any of these fine thinkers have an academic background in economics?

bjkeefe
04-23-2011, 11:58 AM
Ah, a bunch of left-wing bloggers react. Out of curiosity, do any of these fine thinkers have an academic background in economics?

Yes, several of them. And several others have academic backgrounds in climate science. And almost all of the posts refer to those with relevant expertise.

Click the links (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=205412#post205412). You might learn something.

bjkeefe
04-23-2011, 12:00 PM
Oh, but, operative's statement wasn't meant to be factual, you know? It's like his assertions about Obama's IQ or merits. Or about the wonders of free markets. Or how LDS church isn't racist or discriminatory. Or how the best way to help the poor is to increase income for the rich. Those are "statements of gut"* not meant to be factual.

*the place where a certain kind of conservatives keep their brain.

Exactly right.

operative
04-23-2011, 12:34 PM
Yes, several of them. And several others have academic backgrounds in climate science. And almost all of the posts refer to those with relevant expertise.

Click the links (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=205412#post205412). You might learn something.

Sorry but I do have better things to do than scour through a dozen links (I multitask when frittering away time here). Perhaps if you wish to select a single one that you feel is of particular note, that'd be a bit wiser.

Starwatcher162536
04-23-2011, 01:32 PM
Ah, a bunch of left-wing bloggers react. Out of curiosity, do any of these fine thinkers have an academic background in economics?

Do either of the authors of Super Freakonomics have an academic background in such fields as Climate Change, Ecology, Chemistry, Physics, or Engineering? When it comes to the technical feasibility and even estimated costs for various Geo-Engineering proposals I will take the opinions of experts of all of the above as more authoratative then I will the opinions of economic proffessors. This just isn't under economics remit. Now if you want to talk about how a Cap & Trade plan will compare to a straight Carbon Tax in terms of private R&D investment, that is under economics remit.


Moving onto Super Freakonomics in particular;

Much of the chapter on climate change was composed of historical tales where looming problems were dealt with much easier then forecasters thought possible. In essence Freakonomics is implying that technology always advances faster then predicted and therefore Geo-Engineering will become viable and efficacious sooner and then anyone that actually knows anything about Geo-Engineering is currently predicting. There are a number of problems with this reasoning. One being that technology doesn't always advance faster then predicted, evidenced (among many other examples) by my lack of a cheap effective jetpack and the continued perniciousness of cancer. Another problem is that technology is not always self-reinforcing. That is to say many times advances in one field do not herald advances in other fields. This is especially true for Geo-Engineering where many proposals (I'm thinking of Sea-Seeding via Iron deposits and Stratosphere insolation reflection via injected aerosols) rely on mature tecknologies that aren't expected to advance quickly in the near future. Hoping unspecified advances in the future make Geo-Engineering good enough that emissions reduction aren't needed now strikes me as fairly non-serious.

That it would be easier to develop cost effective technologies to Geo-Engineer then to develop renewable energy sources or Carbon Capture strikes me as laughable. The only ones who could advocate this are people who are disingenuous and really don't believe in Anthropic Climate change or those who just want to keep the Goverment out of the market at all costs and are blinded to all else.

bjkeefe
04-23-2011, 01:55 PM
Sorry but I do have better things to do ...

Like religiously cling to your ignorance? This much is already apparent.

(I multitask when frittering away time here)

Also obvious. Most of your comments aren't anything but kneejerk contrarianism and canned responses from your choirbook.

Perhaps if you wish to select a single one that you feel is of particular note, that'd be a bit wiser.

Your understanding of the meaning of "wiser" appears to be on par with your understanding of the meaning of "good argument." Which is to say, not much, except a dim awareness of how the words can be deployed for pompous effect among audiences considerably more gullible than what you'll find here.

Your request is denied. I already know what you would do: skim it, lift some phrase out out of context, toss in a few empty assertions, and try to make an argument over that, in hopes that others would forget that I offered you a good sampling of critiques (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=205412&postcount=18) of the source you held up as authoritative.

Ocean
04-23-2011, 02:00 PM
And so it goes with climate change deniers and do-nothingers. It doesn't matter whether you show them data, articles, informed opinions. They just don't have any valid arguments to present. They keep linking to other ignorant people so that they can pretend that there's someone out there that will support their denial. They are impervious to reason.

Some may even think that worse comes to worse they can pray their way out of it.

operative
04-23-2011, 02:18 PM
Most of your comments aren't anything but kneejerk contrarianism and canned responses from your choirbook.



It's as if you were looking in the mirror when you made that remark.

operative
04-23-2011, 02:29 PM
Do either of the authors of Super Freakonomics have an academic background in such fields as Climate Change, Ecology, Chemistry, Physics, or Engineering? When it comes to the technical feasibility and even estimated costs for various Geo-Engineering proposals I will take the opinions of experts of all of the above as more authoratative then I will the opinions of economic proffessors. This just isn't under economics remit. Now if you want to talk about how a Cap & Trade plan will compare to a straight Carbon Tax in terms of private R&D investment, that is under economics remit.


Moving onto Super Freakonomics in particular;

Much of the chapter on climate change was composed of historical tales where looming problems were dealt with much easier then forecasters thought possible. In essence Freakonomics is implying that technology always advances faster then predicted and therefore Geo-Engineering will become viable and efficacious sooner and then anyone that actually knows anything about Geo-Engineering is currently predicting. There are a number of problems with this reasoning. One being that technology doesn't always advance faster then predicted, evidenced (among many other examples) by my lack of a cheap effective jetpack and the continued perniciousness of cancer. Another problem is that technology is not always self-reinforcing. That is to say many times advances in one field do not herald advances in other fields. This is especially true for Geo-Engineering where many proposals (I'm thinking of Sea-Seeding via Iron deposits and Stratosphere insolation reflection via injected aerosols) rely on mature tecknologies that aren't expected to advance quickly in the near future. Hoping unspecified advances in the future make Geo-Engineering good enough that emissions reduction aren't needed now strikes me as fairly non-serious.

That it would be easier to develop cost effective technologies to Geo-Engineer then to develop renewable energy sources or Carbon Capture strikes me as laughable. The only ones who could advocate this are people who are disingenuous and really don't believe in Anthropic Climate change or those who just want to keep the Goverment out of the market at all costs and are blinded to all else.

Actually I don't think that those are good examples. Jetpacks, and for that matter the velleity of mass marketing of personal flying devices is not only scientifically flawed, but are simply not feasible (I believe that an episode of Nova outlined this very nicely). Which is to say that one of the reasons why the market isn't flooded with R&D money for personal flying crafts is that most people recognize that they're absolutely infeasible for mass use.

Second, what do you mean by 'near future'? I've never been terribly impressed by the Doomsday arguments about the immediate catastrophic danger of global warming. It's undeniable that carbon emissions have an impact on the surface temperature of the Earth, and there likely will be consequences somewhere down the road, but color me skeptical about the notion that this will somehow devastate the population.

I think that what it comes down to once again is the left's distrust of the market and the ability of the individual to make decent decisions. As is usual, the left has instead opted for a paternalistic model in which the Knowledgeable Few dictate lifestyle choices to the masses. Triumph of the Ego.

I have full confidence that the market will evolve technology sufficient to answer the long-term challenges of the impact of carbon emissions. And the basic alternatives that I have seen are a mix of growth-killing and or downright authoritarian impulses from those who wish to lord over the masses. If you have some proposal other than the absurd Cap and Trade, by all means make mention.

Starwatcher162536
04-23-2011, 03:04 PM
Geo-Engineering isn't the market approach. If a miracle happens and one of the proposals does become feasible it's going to be run by an international coalition of states. Contrast this to just taxing carbon emissions and letting the market decide how to come up with carbon free power generation, transportation , and agriculture.


Second, what do you mean by 'near future'? I've never been terribly impressed by the Doomsday arguments about the immediate catastrophic danger of global warming. It's undeniable that carbon emissions have an impact on the surface temperature of the Earth, and there likely will be consequences somewhere down the road, but color me skeptical about the notion that this will somehow devastate the population.

I don't typically read anything on AGW targeted towards the general public, so I have little knowledge about the popular media's fear mongering. About a trillion a year getting progresively more expensive as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate is conservative. I don't expect most of the costs will hit before 2050.


Actually I don't think that those are good examples. Jetpacks, and for that matter the velleity of mass marketing of personal flying devices is not only scientifically flawed, but are simply not feasible (I believe that an episode of Nova outlined this very nicely). Which is to say that one of the reasons why the market isn't flooded with R&D money for personal flying crafts is that most people recognize that they're absolutely infeasible for mass use.

That's all true for Geo-Engineering. You don't have people investing in R&D for Geo-Engineering. You have people that want nothing done advocating for investing in Geo-Engineering that mostly know the scientist/engineer types in charge of guiding R&D funding know Geo-Engineering doesn't deserve more then a pittance at the moment. Geo-Engineering is more PR then anything.


I think that what it comes down to once again is the left's distrust of the market and the ability of the individual to make decent decisions. As is usual, the left has instead opted for a paternalistic model in which the Knowledgeable Few dictate lifestyle choices to the masses. Triumph of the Ego.

I have full confidence that the market will evolve technology sufficient to answer the long-term challenges of the impact of carbon emissions. And the basic alternatives that I have seen are a mix of growth-killing and or downright authoritarian impulses from those who wish to lord over the masses. If you have some proposal other than the absurd Cap and Trade, by all means make mention.

I'm not really interested in either sides talking points at the moment. If you have anything to say about Geo-Engineering specifically beyond an assertion the market cures all ills do so now please.

operative
04-23-2011, 03:29 PM
Geo-Engineering isn't the market approach. If a miracle happens and one of the proposals does become feasible it's going to be run by an international coalition of states. Contrast this to just taxing carbon emissions and letting the market decide how to come up with carbon free power generation, transportation , and agriculture.



I don't typically read anything on AGW targeted towards the general public, so I have little knowledge about the popular media's fear mongering. About a trillion a year getting progresively more expensive as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate is conservative. I don't expect most of the costs will hit before 2050.



That's all true for Geo-Engineering. You don't have people investing in R&D for Geo-Engineering. You have people that want nothing done advocating for investing in Geo-Engineering that mostly know the scientist/engineer types in charge of guiding R&D funding know Geo-Engineering doesn't deserve more then a pittance at the moment. Geo-Engineering is more PR then anything.



I'm not really interested in either sides talking points at the moment. If you have anything to say about Geo-Engineering specifically beyond an assertion the market cures all ills do so now please.

I certainly wouldn't claim to be knowledgeable about Geo-Engineering, so I won't try to comment on it.

bjkeefe
04-23-2011, 05:03 PM
I've never been terribly impressed by the Doomsday arguments about the immediate catastrophic danger of global warming.

http://img295.imageshack.us/img295/6404/strawman.jpg

bjkeefe
04-23-2011, 05:06 PM
It's as if you were looking in the mirror when you made that remark.

Oooo. Pruhfessur The Operative shows hiz mad debatin' skillz by playing the I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I???1? card.

Next up from PTO: more babble about academic training and intellectual curiosity!

bjkeefe
04-23-2011, 05:47 PM
I don't think it's an expression of sympathy. It's a cop-out. It's a shirking of responsibility. It's yet another statement of the Republican Party's mantra that the government cannot do anything to help and will not even try, ...

Just happened across this (http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/in-texas-questions-of-drought-and-climate-change/), which offers an example of what I mean by shirking responsibility (emph. added):

Since Oct. 1, Midland has received only 0.13 inches of rainfall — making it “most likely the driest six-and-a-half-month period in recorded history,” said David Hennig, a Midland-based meteorologist with the National Weather Service. With three major regional reservoirs ranging 2 percent to 30 percent full, the city has put in place outdoor watering restrictions — albeit not backed up by penalties — for the first time.

Ocean
04-23-2011, 06:10 PM
Just happened across this (http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/in-texas-questions-of-drought-and-climate-change/), which offers an example of what I mean by shirking responsibility (emph. added):

It's all about protecting individual freedoms. Why would the state interfere with your green lawn?

rfrobison
04-23-2011, 06:44 PM
Don't hold your breath....

OK. Thanks for the tip.

This lacks credibility, given that you have at this point put up eight of the sixteen responses in this thread.

I was referring specifically to you, and only on this one issue. I'm more than willing to try to persuade the persuade-able.

operative
04-23-2011, 07:01 PM
I was referring specifically to you, and only on this one issue. I'm more than willing to try to persuade the persuade-able.

You best not bother with BJ then.

rfrobison
04-23-2011, 07:10 PM
You best not bother with BJ then.

I think Brendan and I understand each other pretty well. He knows I hold him in high regard. We'll never have a meeting of the minds when it comes to the nexus of faith and politics, which, if I understand him correctly, he sees as wholly pernicious, or, at best, utterly cynical. I, of course, don't see it that way.

Oh, well...

bjkeefe
04-23-2011, 07:15 PM
You best not bother with BJ then.

Just because your views are so wingnutty, and your arguments so stale, does not at all mean I am not persuadable.

It's really not all about you, oppie. Time to grow up and realize that.

bjkeefe
04-23-2011, 07:18 PM
I think Brendan and I understand each other pretty well. He knows I hold him in high regard. We'll never have a meeting of the minds when it comes to the nexus of faith and politics, which, if I understand him correctly, he sees as wholly pernicious, or, at best, utterly cynical. I, of course, don't see it that way.

Oh, well...

You understand at least that part of me well, that's for sure.

;)

rfrobison
04-23-2011, 07:29 PM
Take it easy, Brendan. Happy Easter, and here's a little something from my favorite cartoon just for you. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-I6X5BtvhU)

His name is spelled differently, but it still works.

Signed,
rf (AKA the doctor who cured his paralyzed best friend who can fly and is also the president and is really tall...)

stephanie
04-25-2011, 05:01 PM
Ehh, maybe. But this example of "Lookit these idiot believers!" Sort of reinforces my view that a certain species of "liberal" simply can't resist the urge to parade his or her alleged intellectual superiority over his or her political opponents.

Don't get me wrong. I like Eb and you and Brendan and everybody here (almost). But at the very least, I'd say its a turnoff. If your side wants to win politically, you'd probably want to go a little easier on the mockery of people's faith. But that's just a bit of friendly advice. Feel free to ignore it.

It's interesting, because I wouldn't have thought to read the initial post and link as "lookit these idiot believers" or "intellectual superiority." Perhaps that's coming from some of the other commentary that's surrounding the discussion of this? (I haven't read whatever PZ Myers said, for example.) Otherwise, I don't really get it.

I do think there's something to find objectionable in this regardless of one's religious views -- the church and state point that others have brought up, of course, but then also the implicit suggestion that the drought is a supernatural issue -- one caused by God's action and best addressed through prayer vs. science. Now, personally I see no conflict between prayer and science, and I suspect that you may say that you don't either, and thus don't see such an implicit suggestion as I do. But given the history of such acts -- it seems reminiscent of various days of prayer and fasting passed by the Puritans in Massachusetts to address perceived punishments of God, for example (King Philip's War being one seen as such a punishment), I think that suggestion is clearly there. This is especially true if you consider the extent to which many fundamentalist groups have seized upon other weather issues -- hurricanes in Florida and New Orleans, of course, as evidence that God was punishing us, or the cities/states involved in particular.

And this is especially true if you look at the extent to which certain types of opposition to climate change concern have been linked to religious ideas of a sort I suspect (perhaps wrongly) are more common in the TX government than some other places. For example, Dick Armey's claim that global warming shouldn't be a worry, since God wouldn't let it happen, or IL Rep Shimkus saying, eh, God will deal with it, he promised Noah.

Therefore, I don't think it makes sense, given the context, to see this as mainly an expression of concern and solidary with those affected. (Indeed, my guess is that it's more likely a basis to claim that we need not do anything to help them -- or should not -- as that would be interference with the natural running of the Holy Market, God's right hand.)

stephanie
04-25-2011, 05:14 PM
Whether it represents the single greatest threat to mankind ever, as some of the advocates of radically restructuring our economy seem to believe, is another question.

Yeah, it is another question, but more of an academic and rhetorical one, not a political one as it currently stands. That's because right now the fear that some have regarding the danger that climate change poses is not reflected in the policy debates. The debate in the US seems basically between those who think there's a problem (of some varying amount) and thus that we should do something (a little something) about it vs. those who either deny there's a problem or say there is, but there's nothing that for whatever reason we should do or that God or technology will solve it if we just leave it alone, and thus that it's terrible, awful, and very bad to do anything at all.

There is a whole host of threats to human survival out there, of which climate change is only one. I also am pretty optimistic about human ingenuity and adaptability.

I basically agree with this.

For what it's worth, I am in favor of a carbon tax because, if nothing else, it would help to make the economy more energy efficient and also make the cost of tackling climate change transparent.

I agree with this. I'd add in that it seems the economically correct approach, as it makes sure that externalities are included in the cost of the process or products. (It seems to me that this puts our position somewhat to the left of what the Obama admin has been willing to present. The main reason being, of course, that Obama tried to seem moderate -- and perhaps was convinced that it was a more pragmatic approach -- by adopting the alternative way of doing this initially pushed by opponents of a carbon tax from the right, namely, of course, cap and trade.)

What I find frustrating, however, and why I jumped on your post, is how often people rhetorically seem to pick up on the "they think the world is ending and we have to restructure everything and ruin our economy" point to mock "environmentalists" or "the left" when the policy proposals being mocked range from a carbon tax or cap & trade or not having a gas tax holiday to even just doing individual things like promoting recycling or public transportation or different types of farming or wind energy or changes in the light bulbs used (which I hope aren't really that essential to anyone's way of life).

uncle ebeneezer
05-04-2011, 06:39 PM
Anchors Away!!! (http://thinkprogress.org/2011/05/02/texas-yacht-tax-break/)

rfrobison
05-04-2011, 07:49 PM
Anchors Away!!! (http://thinkprogress.org/2011/05/02/texas-yacht-tax-break/)

Without commenting on the content of the bill or the link, I'll just say, ehem, your link's title should read: "Anchors aweigh."

uncle ebeneezer
05-04-2011, 07:51 PM
Ugh...how did I miss that?!! Nice.

rfrobison
05-05-2011, 11:09 PM
Ugh...how did I miss that?!! Nice.

No charge. ;)

uncle ebeneezer
05-05-2011, 11:19 PM
Why do you hate capitalism?! ;)

rfrobison
05-05-2011, 11:42 PM
Why do you hate capitalism?! ;)

By God, you're right! That'll be one bazillion dollars, please.

Re: "Away," I could easily make the same sort of mistake myself, and probably have. I'm still red-faced about thinking for years that the expression for a magician's misdirection was "slight of hand."

Ocean
05-06-2011, 07:07 AM
By God, you're right! That'll be one bazillion dollars, please.

Re: "Away," I could easily make the same sort of mistake myself, and probably have. I'm still red-faced about thinking for years that the expression for a magician's misdirection was "slight of hand."

Heh. I feel so vindicated as a struggling ESL person.

bjkeefe
05-06-2011, 07:59 AM
Heh. I feel so vindicated as a struggling ESL person.

Happens (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=207606&highlight=flare#post207606) even to EFLers.

Ocean
05-06-2011, 08:05 AM
Happens (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=207606&highlight=flare#post207606) even to EFLers.

Yes, I read it and knew there was something wrong. Then I looked it up.

bjkeefe
05-06-2011, 12:21 PM
http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/6278/dontmesswithlennydykstr.jpg
An official state analysis of the bill also says that the proposed tax change would increase consumption of chewing tobacco and that sales "would rebound sufficiently" so that the state's tax coffers wouldn't be negatively affected.

Yes, you read that right: the Texas House, as part of its efforts (?) to deal with the state's budget deficit, has passed a bill to lower taxes on chewing tobacco (http://www.statesman.com/news/texas-politics/amid-fiscal-turmoil-house-votes-to-cut-tax-1455060.html).

If the "official state analysis" is correct, should we worry about the increased consumption leading to increased incidence of mouth cancer and other long-term health concerns?

No, silly. By the time anyone gets the cancer from chewing tobacco starting today, we'll long since have passed Dreamy McSerious's Magical Sparkle Pony Health Care Vouchers That Cover Everything Practically Always.

(h/t: Jack Stuef (http://wonkette.com/445451/texas-in-budget-crisis-slashes-chewing-tobacco-taxes) | pic. source (http://otrsportsonline.com/2009/09/17/life-to-dysktra-you-cant-go-home/) | also (http://www.willchatham.com/2006/07/09/dont-mess-with-texas/))

Ocean
05-06-2011, 01:55 PM
Dreamy McSerious's Magical Sparkle Pony Health Care Vouchers That Cover Everything Practically Always As Long As You Are Still Alive.